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Massage Today
April, 2013, Vol. 13, Issue 04

How Do You Respond to Those "Game Changer" Moments?

By Angie Patrick

If you were around when JFK was shot, no doubt you can share exactly where you were at that moment in time. In the sudden loss of a bright leader, poised to change the face of a nation, you felt the loss when he was taken from us too soon.

Perhaps you were of the Elvis era, the same holds true; a powerful and influential person was lost and you felt emotion for someone you did not personally know. Consider the Twin Towers, and how it will forever be etched in the minds of every living soul within earshot of a television or radio. The symbol for U.S. trade and American freedom, these images will remain emblazoned in our memories as being pivotal times that changed who we were, who we thought we were, and helped shaped who we were to become.

I call these moments "Game Changers." And while the examples above are truly bigger than life, and experiences shared my millions, "Game Changers" happen every day on a far smaller scale. An event may be singular, impacting and influencing only you, or it may happen to an affiliated group of people sharing a commonality, be it religious, philosophical, personal or professional. And when these game changers occur, you will never forget where you were and how you felt when they happened.

I recently decided to posit a question on Facebook, and asked my friends to share with me their "Game Changer" moment. I am not sure what I was expecting, but I can tell you it was certainly not what I received. In the responses, the emotions ran the gamut from elation and adoration to apathy and abhorrence. The bare honesty behind the words was what struck me most. People unabashedly shared some of their most private and life altering moments in a somewhat public forum without hesitation. Moments that changed their definitions of themselves and the world they live in forever and in an instant moved them to be different. The stories were remarkable, and I invite you to my page to share in them.

idea - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark As a community, what will our "Game Changer" be? What will it take to mobilize us, the integrative health care providers who have been sidelined by society and the medical profession? In a world where a cessation of a symptom as a direct result of medication equates to cure, despite the many unsavory side effects the medication has in its carry-on luggage, I really do not mind being considered the alternative to this. However, I must say, I much prefer to be considered a naturalized health care provider. To me, this moniker speaks to the body's natural affinity and ability to help cure itself when provided the proper nutrition, activity, rest and care.

It is no secret health care costs are on the rise. Ideas about health care reforms sit to the left and to the right of the aisle. Even if you are fortunate enough to have coverage and are insured, your out of pocket annually can exceed tens of thousands of dollars for a family of four, and the average cost for a doctor's visit exceeds $150.00. This expense and time-suck sitting in a waiting room for hours to be given approximately three to four actual minutes of conversation discussing your symptoms and how they can be relieved, and then feeling a false sense of wellness as you are receiving your prescription for a drug to help stop that nagging sensation of your body trying to tell you of a larger issue is at a cost we do not even fully realize as yet.

What has to happen before society experiences the game changer and awakens to the notion that drugs to mask an issue and the litany of even more potentially dangerous side effects are not always the answer. I heard someone recently refer to mainstream medicine as "sick care" and what the alternative health care providers do is provide "well care." For me, this was a game changer call, because it rang true with me. And I made changes then and there to create my own path to "well care."

I know my family needs health insurance. Many of you know my circumstance and understand why it is crucial to my family. Medicine does have its miraculous outcomes and my family is the beneficiary of some of these breakthroughs. However, as thankful as I am for these, I can also see where in my own personal health care, medicating the symptom rather than treating the disease has cost me precious time, health and peace of mind. I think this message is one many families across the U.S. can identify with and internalize as speaking to their circumstance as well.

As with everything, there must be balance. There must be integration of health care to not only preserve, but create health. There needs to be a broader understanding that a pill does not cure everything and occasionally, the cost for masking a symptom costs far more than you can imagine. We have to do our part to maintain this miraculous machine we are given to drive and its upkeep is our responsibility. I have been guilty of failing mine, and I have made myself and my family a pledge to better preserve my health by listening to the symptoms and work to find the root cause; not pop a pill and go about my day thinking I am now well, albeit a bit less sharp than I was before.

This is my game changer moment as it pertains to my personal physical being, as well as my career within the health and wellness field. I do not advocate the immediate cessation of all drugs and medicine as we know it. That is not only ludicrous, it is ill advised. What I am advocating is a balance and a broader introduction in mainstream society to the benefits of well care in the forms of massage, chiropractic, acupuncture, Chinese medicine, exercise, diet, movement and adequate rest. If we can find the balance, the place where taking the time and making the investment to preserve your health rather than wait until it leaves you to take action, we can begin to take back control of our lives, our health care costs, our longevity and our vitality.

I am not proposing any political bandwagon, nor am I advocating any public demonstrations. I don't want to Occupy Wall Street, or any other momentary flash in the pan action that had its fifteen minutes of fame. What I envision is greater than that. It is a change of public perspective, and a bit of a crusade. Sharing the benefits of what you do with every person you meet is a place to start. Study the research as it pertains to your work and educate your clients with the outcomes. Tell them why you are doing what you are doing and how it can facilitate positive change within their body. Give them reference points during your care that you can look back upon and see a clear path of improvement. Refer your clients to other facets of the well care gem and encourage them to try adjunct therapies that may enhance your own. Introduce them to the idea of well care, and suggest they share it with their friends. The end game is that of a healthier society, fewer pharma megaliths, a greater awareness and responsibility for our own bodies, and a balance and understanding between the needs for well care and sick care.

It is a swell of understanding that can be a game changer for many, one person at a time.


Click here for more information about Angie Patrick.

 

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